PHARMACY

APhA to consumers: Get your flu shot

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON More than 120,000 pharmacists in 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have received training to administer immunizations against influenza, prompting one pharmacy group to urge consumers to get themselves vaccinated.

 

The American Pharmacists Association is encouraging consumers to get influenza immunizations and consider their local pharmacies as places to receive vaccines.

 

 

“We are encouraging consumers to take proactive steps to support their individual and community’s public healthcare goals,” APhA CEO and EVP Thomas Menighan said. “Visit your local pharmacy to get immunized and hold an open discussion with your pharmacist about any questions or concerns you may have regarding the upcoming influenza season or other vaccine preventable diseases.”

 

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FDA approves emergency contraceptive Ella

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved an emergency contraceptive pill made by a French drug maker.

 

The FDA announced the approval of Ella (ulipristal acetate), designed to prevent pregnancy when taken orally within five days of unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, though it is not designed for routine use as a contraceptive.

 

 

The drug, which works by preventing ovulation, is manufactured by Paris-based Laboratoire HRA Pharma and distributed by Morristown, N.J.-based Watson. Watson said it plans to launch the drug in the fourth quarter of this year.

 

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Meda ventures into generic drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

SOMERSET, N.J. A lot of generic drug companies have conducted business in the branded drug market on the side for a long time, with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Watson Pharmaceuticals standing out as good examples. But lately, some branded drug companies have sought to get into generics as well.

Meda Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. subsidiary of Swedish drug maker Meda A.B., recently decided to create its own generics subsidiary, calling it Wallace Pharmaceuticals, senior marketing director John White told Drug Store News.

“The strategy demonstrates Meda’s efforts to diversify and align and better serve the needs [and] interest of our customers,” White said. “We believe our ability to provide consistency in therapeutic effect, manufacturing and supply to our parent company’s branded products will prove to be a competitive advantage for Wallace Pharmaceuticals.”

Wallace will focus its business in the United States, with a core portfolio of allergy and pain medicines, White said. The company currently has no plans to enter the biosimilars market, however.

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